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Russian cargo plane crashes west of Moscow – follow live

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Russian invasion of Ukraine – live updates

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Ukrainian drone strikes major Russian oil refinery

At least three people were killed after a Russian military cargo plane crashed in Moscow’s western city Ryazan, reported Interfax news agency.

The plane — II-76 military cargo aircraft — crashed and caught fire while trying to make a landing in the Russian city.

The cargo plane had suffered an engine malfunction while on a training flight, the Russian defence ministry said.

This comes just hours after leaders from the European Union formally accepted Ukraine as a candidate for membership to the 27-nation bloc, in a bold move that comes following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Volodymyr Zelensky said that this is the “biggest step towards strengthening Europe that could be taken right now”.

The decision has been hailed as a “historic moment” by European Council chief Charles Michel. He tweeted: “Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU,” before adding: “Our future is together.”

Elsewhere, officials from the Ukrainian military said that the Russian fighters are trying to wrestle for control of a key highway in the war-struck country’s east as they are eyeing snapping the supply lines of artillery.

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ICYMI: Liz Truss accuses Vladimir Putin of ‘weaponising hunger’ over grain crisis

Foreign secretary Liz Truss has accused Russia’s Vladimir Putin of “weaponising hunger” and using food security as a “callous tool of war” by blocking millions of tonnes of grain leaving Ukrainian ports.

Ashley Cowburn reports.

Liz Truss accuses Vladimir Putin of ‘weaponising hunger’ over Ukraine grain crisis

Foreign secretary says crisis is ‘urgent’ and could see ‘devastating consequences’

Joe Middleton24 June 2022 08:08
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Ukraine’s EU candidacy will strengthen Europe, says Zelensky

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine‘s formal candidature to join the European Union was a big step towards strengthening Europe.

Zelenskiy told EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday that their decision to accept Kyiv’s candidacy was among the most important for Ukraine since it broke from the Soviet Union 31 years ago.

“But this decision is not just being made for the benefit of Ukraine. It is the biggest step towards strengthening Europe that could have been made right now, in our time, and when the Russian war is testing our ability to preserve freedom and unity,” he said.

European Council chief Charles Michel tweeted after the decision: “A historic moment”, adding “Our future is together.”

The approval of Kyiv’s EU candidacy will anger Russia, which has been concerned with Ukraine‘s closer ties with the West.

Joe Middleton24 June 2022 07:45
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Russian plane crash: ‘Four dead’ as military flight headed to Ukraine border ‘suffers engine failure’

Four people were killed on early Friday after a Russian military cargo plane crashed in Moscow’s western city Ryazan.

The plane — II-76 military cargo aircraft — crashed and caught fire while trying to make a landing the Russian city.

Five people were hospitalised with injuries, state news agency RIA said.

The Interfax news agency separately quoted Russia’s defence ministry as saying the plane had suffered an engine malfunction while on a training flight. The ministry gave no details of crew deaths.

Thomas Kingsley reports.

‘Four dead’ as military flight headed to Ukraine border ‘suffers engine failure’

Five people have been hospitalised with injuries according to reports

Joe Middleton24 June 2022 07:19
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Ukrainian soldiers will have to exit Sievierodonetsk, says governor Haidai

The Ukrainian soldiers embedded in the key Donbas city Sievierodonetsk will “have to be withdrawn” from the battle-marred region, Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai said on Friday.

He added: “Remaining in positions smashed to pieces over many months just for the sake of staying there does not make sense.”

Arpan Rai24 June 2022 06:39
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Ukraine defeats Russian attack on Lysychansk but loses key village, says governor

Ukrainian fighters have countered and repelled an attack by Russian soldiers in Donbas’s Lysychansk which was the last city in Sievierodonetsk under Kyiv’s control, the regional governor Serhiy Haidai said on Friday.

However, Russia has managed to wrest control of a key village named Mykolaivka which is near a critical highyway to Lysychansk.

The Ukrainian city in Sievierodonetsk has been the scene of heavy fighting in the last month, as Russia shifted its focus to capturing the separatist territories in the country’s east.

Mr Haidai said that the battle has continued to rage in the twin city of Sievierodonetsk.

Arpan Rai24 June 2022 06:33
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PM warns against forcing Ukraine into accepting ‘bad peace deal’

Boris Johnson has said that pressurising Ukraine into accepting a “bad peace” deal would be a “disaster” as he warned Nato allies on the ongoing siege in Europe.

“Now is not the time to settle and encourage the Ukrainians to settle for a bad peace, for a peace by which they are invited to give up chunks of their territory in return for a ceasefire,” Mr Johnson said on Thursday.

He added: “But I think they are going to win. I know they are going to win. It is their country. They are fighting for it desperately hard,” he told reporters travelling with him in Kigali.”

The British PM said that there is “no question there is a lot of Ukraine fatigue now in the world”. He is at a summit of Commonwealth leaders in Rwanda ahead of talks with G7 and Nato allies in Europe.

Read the full story here:

PM warns against forcing Ukraine into accepting ‘bad peace deal’

There are concerns in Kyiv that Germany and France will push President Volodymyr Zelensky to accept a ceasefire.

Arpan Rai24 June 2022 05:51
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Three killed as Russian cargo plane crashes in Ryazan

At least three people were killed on early Friday after a Russian military cargo plane crashed in Moscow’s western city Ryazan.

The plane — II-76 military cargo aircraft — crashed and caught fire while trying to make a landing the Russian city.

Of the total nine onboard, three have been confirmed dead, reported Russian Interfax news agency.

Russian defence ministry said that the cargo aircraft had suffered an engine malfunction while on a training flight.

Arpan Rai24 June 2022 05:16
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Ukraine’s EU candidate status sends ‘message of solidarity’, says Michael Martin

Ireland’s premier Taoiseach Michael Martin said that Europe is sending out a message of solidarity by announcing the status of EU candidate for Ukraine.

“Today the European Union is sending a message of solidarity to the people of Ukraine that you belong to the European family,” Mr Martin said.

The Irish premier was talking in Brussels ahead of the European Council meeting in which Ukraine, along with Moldova, qualified for the candidate status for future EU membership.

“It’s historic in the sense of the enlargement of the European Union and I’m particularly pleased as a long-standing advocate for Ukraine’s application to candidate status to become a member of the European Union,” he said.

He added: “It’s very significant for Ukraine, very significant for Moldova and, indeed, Georgia, in terms of European perspective.”

Taoiseach: Granting EU candidate status to Ukraine sends message of solidarity

Micheal Martin also accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of ‘weaponising’ food amid ongoing blockades of Ukrainian grain.

Arpan Rai24 June 2022 05:01
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Russia trying to get control of key highway as battle rages on in east

Officials from the Ukrainian military said that the Russian forces are trying to wrestle for control of a key highway in the war-struck country’s east as they are eyeing snapping the supply lines of artillery.

The Russians are trying to overtake the hills overlooking the highway linking Lysychansk with Bakhmut, to the southwest, the military officials said.

It is a critical route of supply line to the Ukrainian forces on the eastern frontline.

The Bakhmut-Lysychansk highway was not used because of heavy Russian shelling, regional governor Serhiy Haidai said.

He added that the Ukrainian forces are receiving supplies via an alternative route.

Arpan Rai24 June 2022 04:34
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ICYMI: EU grants Ukraine candidate status

European leaders last night formally accepted Ukraine as a candidate to join the EU, a bold geopolitical move triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but a reminder that the 27-nation bloc will need a major overhaul as it looks to enlarge again.

Although it could take Ukraine and neighbouring Moldova more than a decade to qualify for membership, the decision at a two-day EU summit is a symbolic step that signals the bloc’s intention to reach deep into the former Soviet Union.

“A historic moment,” European Council chief Charles Michel tweeted. “Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU,” he said, adding: “Our future is together.”

Read more below:

Ukraine granted EU candidate status in ‘historic moment’

Volodymyr Zelensky hails move, which leaders claim will put bloc ‘on the right side of history’

Katy Clifton24 June 2022 02:51